Skip to main content Accessibility help

Urinary isoflavonoid excretion is similar after consuming soya milk and miso soup in Japanese-American women

  • Gertraud Maskarinec (a1), Kirsten Watts (a1), Jamie Kagihara (a1), Sandra M. Hebshi (a1) and Adrian A. Franke (a1)...


Based on the hypothesis that isoflavones are absorbed more efficiently from fermented than from non-fermented soya foods, we compared the urinary isoflavonoid excretion (UIE) after intake of miso soup or soya milk. We recruited twenty-one women with Japanese ancestry who consumed standardized soya portions containing 48 mg isoflavones. On day 1, half the women consumed soya milk, the other half started with miso soup. On day 3, the subjects ate the other soya food and on day 5, they repeated the first food. Each participant collected a spot urine sample before and an overnight urine sample after soya food intake. All urine samples were analysed for daidzein, genistein and equol using LC–MS and were expressed as nmol/mg creatinine. We applied mixed models to evaluate the difference in UIE by food while including the baseline values and covariates. Relative to baseline, both groups experienced significantly higher UIE after consuming any of the soya foods. We observed no significant difference in UIE when soya milk was compared to miso soup (P = 0·87) among all women or in the seven equol producers (P = 0·88). Repeated intake of the same food on different days showed high reproducibility within subjects. These preliminary results indicate similar UIE after consuming a fermented soya food (miso) as compared to a non-fermented soya food (soya milk). Therefore, recommendations favouring fermented soya foods are not justified as long as the intestinal microflora is capable of hydrolysing the isoflavone glucosides from non-fermented soya foods.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Urinary isoflavonoid excretion is similar after consuming soya milk and miso soup in Japanese-American women
      Available formats

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Urinary isoflavonoid excretion is similar after consuming soya milk and miso soup in Japanese-American women
      Available formats

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Urinary isoflavonoid excretion is similar after consuming soya milk and miso soup in Japanese-American women
      Available formats


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Dr Gertraud Maskarinec, fax +1 808 586 2982, email


Hide All
1Barnes, S, Boersma, B, Patel, R, Kirk, M, Darley-Usmar, VM, Kim, H & Xu, J (2000) Isoflavonoids and chronic disease: mechanisms of action. Biofactors 12, 209215.
2Adlercreutz, H (2002) Phyto-oestrogens and cancer. Lancet Oncol 3, 364373.
3Barnes, S, Peterson, G, Grubbs, C & Setchell, K (1994) Potential role of dietary isoflavones in the prevention of cancer. Adv Exp Med Biol 354, 135147.
4Franke, AA, Hankin, JH, Yu, MC, Maskarinec, G, Low, SH & Custer, LJ (1999) Isoflavone levels in soy foods consumed by multiethnic populations in Singapore and Hawaii. J Agric Food Chem 47, 977986.
5Xu, X, Harris, KS, Wang, HJ, Murphy, PA & Hendrich, S (1995) Bioavailability of soybean isoflavones depends upon gut microflora in women. J Nutr 125, 23072315.
6Setchell, KD (2000) Absorption and metabolism of soy isoflavones – from food to dietary supplements and adults to infants. J Nutr 130, 654S655S.
7Setchell, KD, Brown, NM, Zimmer-Nechemias, L, Brashear, WT, Wolfe, BE, Kirschner, AS & Heubi, JE (2002) Evidence for lack of absorption of soy isoflavone glycosides in humans, supporting the crucial role of intestinal metabolism for bioavailability. Am J Clin Nutr 76, 447453.
8Franke, AA, Custer, L & Hundahl, S (2004) Determinants for urinary and plasma isoflavones in humans after soy intake. Nutr Cancer 50, 141154.
9Atkinson, C, Frankenfeld, CL & Lampe, JW (2005) Gut bacterial metabolism of the soy isoflavone daidzein: exploring the relevance to human health. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 230, 155170.
10Axelson, M, Sjovall, J, Gustafsson, BE & Setchell, KD (1984) Soya – a dietary source of the non-steroidal oestrogen equol in man and animals. J Endocrinol 102, 4956.
11Setchell, KD, Brown, NM & Lydeking-Olsen, E (2002) The clinical importance of the metabolite equol – a clue to the effectiveness of soy and its isoflavones. J Nutr 132, 35773584.
12Lampe, JW, Gustafson, DR, Hutchins, AM, Martini, MC, Li, S, Wahala, K, Grandits, GA, Potter, JD & Slavin, JL (1999) Urinary isoflavonoid and lignan excretion on a Western diet: relation to soy, vegetable, and fruit intake. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 8, 699707.
13Rowland, IR, Wiseman, H, Sanders, TA, Adlercreutz, H & Bowey, EA (2000) Interindividual variation in metabolism of soy isoflavones and lignans: influence of habitual diet on equol production by the gut microflora. Nutr Cancer 36, 2732.
14Seow, A, Shi, CH, Franke, AA, Hankin, H, Lee, HP & Yu, MC (1998) Isoflavonoid levels in spot urine predict frequency of dietary soy intake in a population-based sample of middle-aged Chinese in Singapore. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, 135140.
15Maskarinec, G, Singh, S, Meng, L & Franke, AA (1998) Dietary soy intake and urinary isoflavone excretion among women from a multiethnic population. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, 613619.
16Grace, PB, Taylor, JI, Low, YL, et al. (2004) Phytoestrogen concentrations in serum and spot urine as biomarkers for dietary phytoestrogen intake and their relation to breast cancer risk in European prospective investigation of cancer and nutrition – norfolk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 13, 698708.
17Ritchie, MR, Morton, MS, Deighton, N, Blake, A & Cummings, JH (2004) Plasma and urinary phyto-oestrogens as biomarkers of intake: validation by duplicate diet analysis. Br J Nutr 91, 447457.
18Hutchins, AM, Slavin, JL & Lampe, JW (1995) Urinary isoflavonoid phytoestrogen and lignan excretion after consumption of fermented and unfermented soy products. J Am Diet Assoc 95, 545551.
19Izumi, T, Piskula, MK, Osawa, S, Obata, A, Tobe, K, Saito, M, Kataoka, S, Kubota, Y & Kikuchi, M (2000) Soy isoflavone aglycones are absorbed faster and in higher amounts than their glucosides in humans. J Nutr 130, 16951699.
20Kano, M, Takayanagi, T, Harada, K, Sawada, S & Ishikawa, F (2006) Bioavailability of isoflavones after ingestion of soy beverages in healthy adults. J Nutr 136, 22912296.
21Tsangalis, D, Wilcox, G, Shah, NP & Stojanovska, L (2005) Bioavailability of isoflavone phytoestrogens in postmenopausal women consuming soya milk fermented with probiotic bifidobacteria. Br J Nutr 93, 867877.
22Zubik, L & Meydani, M (2003) Bioavailability of soybean isoflavones from aglycone and glucoside forms in American women. Am J Clin Nutr 77, 14591465.
23Richelle, M, Pridmore-Merten, S, Bodenstab, S, Enslen, M & Offord, EA (2002) Hydrolysis of isoflavone glycosides to aglycones by beta-glycosidase does not alter plasma and urine isoflavone pharmacokinetics in postmenopausal women. J Nutr 132, 25872592.
24Song, KB, Atkinson, C, Frankenfeld, CL, Jokela, T, Wahala, K, Thomas, WK & Lampe, JW (2006) Prevalence of daidzein-metabolizing phenotypes differs between Caucasian and Korean American women and girls. J Nutr 136, 13471351.
25Williams, AE, Maskarinec, G, Hebshi, S, Oshiro, C, Murphy, S & Franke, AA (2003) Validation of a soy questionnaire with repeated dietary recalls and urinary isoflavone assessments over one year. Nutr Cancer 47, 118125.
26Maskarinec, G, Takata, Y, Franke, AA, Williams, AE & Murphy, SP (2004) A 2-year soy intervention in premenopausal women does not change mammographic densities. J Nutr 134, 30893094.
27Franke, AA, Custer, L, Wilkens, L, LeMarchand, L, Goodman, MT & Kolonel, LN (2002) LC/PDA/MS analysis of dietary phytoestrogens from human urine and blood. J Chromatogr B 777, 4357.
28Blair, RM, Appt, SE, Franke, AA & Clarkson, TB (2003) Treatment with antibiotics reduces plasma equol concentration in cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). J Nutr 133, 22622267.
29Franke, AA, Custer, LJ, Wang, W & Shi, SJ (1998) HPLC analysis of isoflavonoids and other phenolic agents from foods and from human fluids. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 217, 263273.
30Dai, Q, Franke, AA, Yu, H, Shu, XO, Jin, F, Hebert, JR, Custer, LJ, Gao, YT & Zheng, W (2003) Urinary phytoestrogen excretion and breast cancer risk: evaluating potential effect modifiers, endogenous estrogens and anthropometrics. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 12, 497502.
31Littell, RC, Milliken, GA, Stroup, WW & Wolfinger, RD (1996) SAS System for Mixed Models. Cary, NC: SAS Institute.
32Franke, AA, Halm, BM, Custer, LJ, Tatsumura, Y & Hebshi, S (2006) Isoflavones in breastfed infants after mothers consume soy. Am J Clin Nutr 84, 406413.
33Akaza, H, Miyanaga, N, Takashima, N, et al. (2004) Comparisons of percent equol producers between prostate cancer patients and controls: case-controlled studies of isoflavones in Japanese, Korean and American residents. Jpn J Clin Oncol 34, 8689.
34Xu, X, Wang, HJ, Murphy, PA & Hendrich, S (2000) Neither background diet nor type of soy food affects short-term isoflavone bioavailability in women. J Nutr 130, 798801.
35Tsunoda, N, Pomeroy, S & Nestel, P (2002) Absorption in humans of isoflavones from soy and red clover is similar. J Nutr 132, 21992201.
36Setchell, KD, Brown, NM, Desai, P, Zimmer-Nechemias, L, Wolfe, BE, Brashear, WT, Kirschner, AS, Cassidy, A & Heubi, JE (2001) Bioavailability of pure isoflavones in healthy humans and analysis of commercial soy isoflavone supplements. J Nutr 131, 1362S1375S.
37Cassidy, A, Brown, JE, Hawdon, A, Faughnan, MS, King, LJ, Millward, J, Zimmer-Nechemias, L, Wolfe, B & Setchell, KD (2006) Factors affecting the bioavailability of soy isoflavones in humans after ingestion of physiologically relevant levels from different soy foods. J Nutr 136, 4551.
38de Pascual-Teresa, S, Hallund, J, Talbot, D, Schroot, J, Williams, CM, Bugel, S & Cassidy, A (2006) Absorption of isoflavones in humans: effects of food matrix and processing. J Nutr Biochem 17, 257264.
39Fanti, P, Asmis, R, Stephenson, TJ, Sawaya, BP & Franke, AA (2006) Positive effect of dietary soy in ESRD patients with systemic inflammation – correlation between blood levels of the soy isoflavones and the acute-phase reactants. Nephrol Dial Transplant 21, 22392246.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed